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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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Barn Hunt

Barn Hunt Barn Hunt is the new and quickly growing dog sport that is gaining popularity across America. I’ve been competing in Barn Hunt with Harley over the past four months. In this timed event, dogs locate rats (safely enclosed in aerated tubes) hidden in a straw/hay bale maze. Barn Hunt is committed to creating a safe and fun sport for dogs, that also holds rat care at the highest level of consideration. This sport is based on the traditional roles of many dog breeds in riding farms, barns, crop storage areas, etc. Barn Hunt allows breeders to test proper working traits in their dogs in a real-life setting. Barn Hunt is for anyone interested in a new way to interact with their dog that provides their dog with a new challenge. All breeds and ages of dogs (including tripod and deaf dogs) can do this sport—as can all ages of people. If your dog can fit through an 18 inch wide by bale-height-tall tunnel then they are good... (Read More)

A Research Opportunity

A Research Opportunity As usual, this semester has been busy, busy, busy. We second years have had four weeks of Monday and Friday exams and have just returned to College Station after our spring break vacation. I went home to Austin for several days during the break to visit friends and family. Upon returning to vet school, my mind cannot help but wander to this summer and everything it has in store. In the midst of our exams, I found out that I had been accepted into the Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Training Program (VMSRTP) here at Texas A&M. The VMSRTP allows veterinary students to conduct full-time research under the direction of a faculty mentor of their choosing. During their time in the program, students will not only conduct research, but also go on field trips, attend lunch seminars, and present their findings at a research conference. This 13-week long program provides first and second year veterinary students with little to no prior research ... (Read More)

Spring Break Fever

Spring Break Fever You probably understand what its like to wait for a break from school. I just keep looking forward to that final class at the end of the week before spring break. I keep telling myself I won’t bring anything home to do for school; although I know that isn’t true. Waiting isn’t the worst part though. The worst part is the week leading up to the break, when my mind wants to take a mental break, but my classes have definitely not taken a break. I still have homework, quizzes, and tests this week—plus none of my classes have gotten cancelled. Now, all of these things are normal, but in my mind—and the minds of other students—I have come close to already taking my mental break. I haven’t yet, but after everything is done, there is nothing holding me back. A piece of advice for when you are in college…don’t do this. Just don’t. If you are constantly looking forward to the break it is so hard to prepare for what you have the week before a break. I ... (Read More)

Putting it all together

Putting it all together As my time in the classroom comes to an end, I get more and more excited. Moving to the clinical phase of veterinary school is what everyone dreams of when they begin the journey. The closer it gets, the more I am beginning to reflect on the time I had in the classroom and everything that my wonderful teachers have instilled in me. When I began school here, I was taken aback by how much classroom time we had versus how much time we got to spend in the hospital shadowing veterinarians and improving our clinical skills as future veterinarians. It seemed like we would never get to the point that we had all longed for. Each day that I get closer to being in the clinic and learning the skills and knowledge it takes to become a veterinarian, I stop and think about how much I have learned over the past three years in the classroom. It may not have been the most fun at times, but now I appreciate all the tedious aspects of learning that our teachers ... (Read More)

Veterinary School Fur Ball

Veterinary School Fur Ball As much time as veterinary students spend studying, there are also times where we like to have fun! We have events throughout the year where we get to hang out, relax, and have fun with our classmates. This month, the third-year class hosted a fun event called the Fur Ball! Everyone got dressed up in formal attire, whether it was an old high school prom dress, bridesmaid dress, or suits for the guys. There were hors d’oeurves, dancing, and overall a great time to celebrate with friends. It was fun to be able to have classmates from all four classes of veterinary students celebrating together and having a great time away from studying. I am about to enter my fourth year of veterinary school, where we start clinics, and although I am very excited to be able to put classroom teaching into clinical experience, I am also nervous as well. I am so glad I attended the Fur Ball before clinics start to celebrate with my classmates before we start ou... (Read More)

Staying Healthy in College

Staying Healthy in College I would like to recommend to anyone who is coming to college to make certain that they maintain or create a healthy lifestyle. Before I came to Texas A&M, I ate healthy food, as my grandmother would always prepare a good dinner, but I was never a physically active individual. I did not participate in sports or attend a gym all through high school. But, once I got to college that changed. I took a required kinesiology class and was only able to get into aerobic running. At first I was disappointed. I never ran and was convinced I would not be good at it. I never was the fastest, but I wasn't the slowest either runner either. After a while I was able to run for the entire route, usually three miles. Eventually, I found that I actually really enjoyed it. Even after the class was over, I continued to run in the mornings. Remarkably, instead of gaining weight (as they call it the Freshman 15), I lost weight once I was living alone. I preferre... (Read More)

Second Year, Second Semester

Second Year, Second Semester Despite our qualifiers (first-, second-, third-, fourth-years), each semester presents for us new challenges, new concepts, and frankly, still a lot of “firsts.” This year is no different. As a second-year student in my second semester, I finally feel that the things I’ve learned in other semesters are coming together to really mean something in medicine. This semester is still all classroom work (with the occasional hands-on lab opportunity or club meeting), but the information now is more about application of medicine rather than blanket memorization of parts of the body, parasites, physiologic or pharmacologic facts, or any other kind of scientific knowledge we’ve crammed into our brains in just this short amount of time. Because of this, I finally feel able to speak about veterinary medicine in an authoritative way—more in the way of convincing myself that I know what I’m doing rather than teaching, but we are well on our way to doing that ... (Read More)

Externships

Externships Becoming a veterinarian is hard work. The path from high school to veterinary school is arduous and has become increasingly competitive. Aspiring future veterinarians often leave high school with a goal in mind and over the next four years, work tirelessly during their undergraduate career to prove to admission committees that they are worthy of a highly coveted spot in their prestigious veterinary school. Once you are accepted into veterinary school, the hard work has really just begun. Now, students are faced with a daily onslaught of copious amounts of highly technical information to master. Students take 21-35 credit hours per semester, and every single one of these classes are challenging. In veterinary school, there is NO such thing as a blow-off class. To make matters more challenging, students interested in focusing their career on certain animal species or certain medical specialties must compete for a limited number of highly coveted ... (Read More)

Something Familiar

Something Familiar Second semester of first year is well underway, now that our class has completed three exams. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of a renal nephron or all of the different strains of E. coli that can cause disease in domestic animals. But, some of the best moments of the day come about when a classmate who can talk you through a mind-boggling neurology concept is suddenly stumped when you describe to them the difference between a chestnut and a bay horse. To be perfectly honest, equine terminology can be a little out-there for people without that background. I certainly haven’t yet learned all there is to know about food animal breeds and colors—although that exam is just around the corner! But, the beauty of veterinary school is that all kinds of students come in with a variety of experiences with different species and specialty interests. Together we guide our peers through the learning curve associated with each topic and ultimately... (Read More)

Electives—do what you want!

Electives—do what you want! One of the great things about third year is the ability to choose your electives. Very interested in horses? There are many equine electives for you. Love pocket pets? There are electives for you. Excited about emergency medicine? They have an elective for you. One of my passions is behavior, and currently I am taking the Small Animal Behavior elective with Dr. Bonnie Beaver DVM, MS, DPNAP, DACVB. This course builds on the knowledge gained during the required first-year course on normal animal behavior. We learned about the importance of differentiating behavior and medical problems. We discussed management and behavior modification involved in common behavioral issues. We have also learned about neurotransmitters and some common drugs and their intended uses. At the end of our course, we had a choice to either create some informational brochures or train an animal to do something and make a video. Easy choice for me, let’s train an animal! ... (Read More)